Farfalle with peas and mint
While in England I picked up a copy of Ruth Rogers' book on pasta. Rogers is the wife of Richard Rogers, the architect of the Pompidou Center and the Lloyds of London building, and she owns the River Cafe in Fulham (not to be confused with the restaurant of the same name in New York). It's one of the best Italian restaurants I've eaten at, and I especially loved the pasta there.
This spring dish combines fresh peas, mint and prosciutto. Unfortunately Rogers' book, while gorgeously illustrated, is poorly copy-edited. The recipe casually instructs you to use half the butter in the opening saute, but then never says what to do with the rest of the butter. The hard to follow text then somehow convinced me that I needed to put half the peas, raw, into a food processor with half the prosciutto. In reality I was supposed to use half the cooked peas with a third of the prosciutto. I ended up cooking the processed peas and ham in a separate pan and combining them, but really, if any books need good copy editors it's cookbooks.
The result was still excellent, the mint's slight bitterness nicely offsetting the salt of the prosciutto and the Reggiano. I have since cooked another recipe and will be blogging that one shortly.
New remastered Mission Of Burma 256K MP3 and WAV
For those of you who haven't cottoned on to the gorgeous, powerful sound of the Mission Of Burma Definitive Editions yet, here is another extract.
"OK/No Way" was originally released in 1982 as the non-album B-side of their second single "Trem Two." The remastered version is on the album Vs.: The Definitive Edition double vinyl, CD and digital album (MP3 or FLAC). A Clint Conley composition, it is one of my favorite Burma songs ever. At the time, it was taken as a nod to hardcore, though in fact Clint wrote it two years before hardcore existed. Rarely performed these days, you will have a chance to see it at the upcoming shows where the band will perform 'Vs.' in its entirety (see dates below).
"OK/No Way" (256K MP3)
"OK/No Way" (WAV)
The Definitive Editions Tour:
Thu - 6/12 - Boston MA- Paradise - Playing "Signals" in its entirety
Fri - 6/13 - Boston MA - Paradise - Playing "Vs." in its entirety
Sat - 6/14 - New York NY - Bowery Ballroom - Playing "Signals" in its entirety
Sun - 6/15 - New York NY - Bowery Ballroom - Playing "Vs." in its entirety
Fri - 6/27 - Philadelphia PA - First Unitarian Church - Playing "Signals" in its entirety
Sat - 6/28 - Washington MD - Black Cat - Playing "Vs." in its entirety
Fri - 7/18 - Chicago IL - Pitchfork - Playing "Vs." in its entirety
Sat - 7/19 - Detroit MI - Bohemian National Home - Playing "Signals" in its entirety
Jennifer O'Connor - 'Here With Me' Available Now For Preorder
Amazing songs! Generous discounts! A snazzy poster! The feeling that you're part of something much bigger than yourself!
Well, we've got the first 3 covered. Jennifer's fantastic new LP/CD 'Here With Me' is out August 19 but you're gonna feel so much better if you preorder it from the Matador store, trust me.
"Valley Road '86" (mp3)
Jaguar Love In LA This Past Tuesday
as seen at the Echo Lounge earlier this week. Photography by Jenn Lannchart.
I hate breakfast. Actually, I like breakfast food - I just don't like eating in the morning. I generally have a cup of coffee and nothing else in the first two hours of waking. Only then does my appetite come to life. This is obviously not an ideal state of affairs because everyone says you do better over the course of the day if you eat breakfast. Hence grits, a subject that has always fascinated me because I never had them growing up (in the North). An article by John Thorne in his latest book, Mouth Wide Open, persuaded me to give it a try.
I ordered 4 bags of artisanal, stone-milled white grits from Anson Mills in South Carolina, and a cheap slow-cooker from Rival. Real grits require soaking and then an hour of cooking, which obviously is not going to work in the morning, and Thorne discovered that you can put them in the slow cooker overnight and they will be ready the next day. A half cup of grits takes 2 1/4 cups of water, a teaspoon of kosher salt and a tablespoon of butter.
This morning they turned out to be ready, with a nice crust that could be scraped off and stirred back in. I grated some fresh Reggiano in and now I've eaten them. They were good, subtly corn-flavored, a bit salty. Though it still feels weird to have eaten this early. I'll report back and how it affected my day (if at all).
Searching For Johnny Rook in QuicktimeFor those of you who want some higher-bitrate Jonathan Meiburg in the Falklands action, we now have the entire Searching For Johnny Rook series available in shimmering, vibrant Quicktime. The videos are now even more stunning!
Invading The Privacy Of Jaguar Love's Rehearsals
Matador's rusty brains brain trust were amongst the lucky throng observing the kick-off of Jaguar Love's U.S. tour in Pomona, CA this past Sunday night. We're still trying to figure out how to repair the synapses that were snapped like twigs. The new Jaguar Love quintet are already so scary-good this early in their existence, venues oughta bar patrons from entering during the final 30 minutes of the performance. That's the only William Castle gimmick we'll suggest this time --- no 3D lenses are necessary when this band is on stage. They've got dimensions to spare.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008 San Diego, CA Beauty Bar
Thursday, May 29, 2008 San Francisco, CA Popscene
Friday, May 30, 2008 Modesto, CA Fat Cat
Saturday, May 31, 2008 Eugene The Indigo District
Monday, June 02, 2008 Vancouver, BC Richards on Richards
Tuesday, June 03, 2008 Portland, OR Hawthorne Theatre
Wednesday, June 04, 2008 Seattle, WA Neumos
Saturday, June 18 2008 Coney Island, NY Siren Festival
(European dates here)
Jaguar Love - "Bats Over The Pacific Ocean" (mp3)
June 3 - 'Jaguar Love' CD EP (preorders shipping now)
August 19 - 'Take Me To The Sea' LP/CD
Coming June 24 : no. 3 in Jay Reatard's 7" series
Hey, we're actually getting these out at a somewhat regular clip. Like we're supposed to. The 3rd 7" single in Jay Reatard's series of 7" 45's for the Matador label will be released on June 24. The a-side, "Always Wanting More" has been in circulation for a while via Matador's Intended Play compilation, but we're pretty confident the song is good enough that you'll want to own a proper vinyl version. B-side "You Mean Nothing To Mean" is previously unreleased.
The sleeve design is by Lindsay Shutt, with a package our Mr. Amory describes as "a clear plastic sleeve with Dangerhouse-style paper half-insert; the disc is clear one-sided vinyl with both tracks on the a-side and a silkscreen design printed directly onto the b-side."
Information on how to preorder this 7" directly from us is forthcoming.
Jeff Jensen Has A Secret Admirer
We knew it would be just a matter of time before the co-creator of this generation's most important comedy album began receiving salacious advances. We just didn't know it would be his other gig that would serve as the aphrodisiac.
On a separate tip, here's Aquarius Records' assessment of 'Just Farr A Laugh, Vol.'s I & II'
For this review, we recruited AQ pal Cliff Hengst, artist and co-editor of "Good Times: Bad Trips":
I love me some good prank phone calls. A great prank call can be the most devastatingly funny thing ever - it's just you and the caller, and of course, the poor sap at the other end (who never seems to get the clue to just hang up). Of the many prank-call cds we've listened to, this one stands out as among the most brilliant and repeatedly played. It's perfect for those long road trips to stave off the urges to cause injury to your traveling companions. Reissued as a double cd with 25 extra pranks (the original, released in 2002 was fine enough), it's packed with some of the most memorable and pathetic characters you've ever heard. The middle-aged and recently divorced Barbara, who loves the "stanky blues" of Bonnie Raitt, trying to join a band to spite her ex-husband; Barbara's ex-husband in turn calling the same poor dude warning him about his ex-wife and her "buffet of psycho-tropic drugs"; Bedroom ETA , a "quiet storm" band that involves a hilariously sung Jermaine Stewart song; and of course, Bleachy, a fat black sad-sack who harangues army recruiting offices, worker's comp centers and fast food chains with his miserably petty requests and complaints - so awesome! It's really no use reading a review of something like this; you miss the timing, the phrasing, all those embarrassing awkward pauses, and out of left-field cultural references. So listen to the clips. An original and hilarious collection that you will listen to again and again and will make you "shit your pants". Comes with a prank-by-prank analysis booklet by Andrew Earles and Jeffrey Jensen. Shattering.
Shearwater : Hello, Cultural Zeitgeist!
Writes Jonathan Meiburg, "had I not seen this with my own eyes, I would not have believed." Hey, we were pretty confident 'Rook' would introduce Shearwater to new audiences, but until now, we were pretty unaware of how 'Palo Santo''s "Red Sea, Black Sea" had touched some of you.
Jay Reatard meets J SheekeySunday night after the show at Proud Galleries in Camden a few of us went to London seafood joint J Sheekey for dinner. Herewith some photos.
Unfortunately no photos of Stephen, but that last dessert (Scandinavian iced berries in white chocolate) was his.
Death To False Meta : Fuck Weezer & Their New VideoWhile some segment of the rock biz is all agog today over the new Weezer clip ---- featuring a myriad of YouTubey sensations (Chris Crocker, Tay Zonday, etc.), I would like to humbly remind each and everyone of you that a musically superior outfit from Sweden has already been there and done that.
Rivers Cuomo might have a Harvard education and share the same surname as a former NY Governor, but he's never managed to wrangle Jim Varney's participation in a music video. Granted, he's still young, but the rest of pop culture is playing catch-up with The Brainbombs. Why should Weezer be any different?
Dead Meadow vs. The Golden State
May 23 2008 8:00P - The Blank Club, San Jose, California
May 24 2008 8:00P - Slim’s San Francisco, California
May 26 2008 8:00P - Historic Brookdale Lodge, Brookdale, California
May 27 2008 8:00P - Muddy Waters, Santa Barbara, California
May 30 2008 8:00P - Little Radio Warehouse, Los Angeles, California
I saw Times New Viking in London and all I got was this
I found this pinned to the wall of the Beggars flat. A parting gift from Times New Viking in the form of a ponytail sported by the formerly-long-haired Beth Murphy.
Not being one to pass up on any opportunity to make some drinking money on the sly, I'll flog this to the highest and most foolish bidder. Cash preferably please. Sterling, not dollars (this is London after all).
Jennifer O'Connor - Dates With Wilco, Song In A Terrifying Film
As we feverishly prepare for the 8/19 release of Jennifer O'Connor's 'Here With Me' LP/CD, we're pleased to announce that along with upcoming dates supporting Jamie Lidell and Son Ambulance, Jennifer is playing with Wilco on the following evenings :
Sun 8/10 Wilmington, DE 7pm The Grand Opera House
Wed 8/13 Brooklyn, NY Doors 5pm McCarren Park Pool
In addition, "Hopeful" from Jennifer's fantastic 2nd album, 'The Color & The Light", is featured in the upcoming motion picture, "The Strangers", starring Liv Tyler and loads of freakish people wearing masks and wielding knives. The movie opens May 30, "only in theatres" as they like to say in the TV commericals.
"Valley Road '86" (mp3, from 'Here With Me')
Jaguar Love - Hitting The Road
Jaguar Love's first US tour since signing their lives away to Matador begins this Sunday in Pomona, CA. Chris and I will be attending, but mostly because we were gonna be in the neighborhood anyway.
Times New Viking in CardiffIn a nutshell:
Went to Cardiff. Watched Times New Viking play Clwb Ifor Bach. Listened to Jimi Hendrix At His Best. Went to some dodgy bars. Drank shots. Mistook wallpaper for bookshelves (Jared mostly). Made friends with a lampshade.
Cue some misguided camera-phone action:
All in all, some very good times.
Catch the rest of the Times New Viking tour:
21 May – Plan B Night @ Corsica Studio’s, London (with Lovvers)
22 May – The Common Place, Leeds
23 May – Studio 24, Edinburgh
24 May – Captain’s Rest, Glasgow
26 May – Andrew’s Lane Theatre, Dublin
Middle School Chorus sings Lavender Diamond!
Hello from Los Angeles!
We thought we'd mention that we're playing here at The Wiltern - tonight! supporting the Dresden Dolls. We'll be playing a couple of new songs!
Also! We've been working hard lately making a movie version of our album Imagine Our Love!
Becky will be hosting a very special celebration & preview of these "Psychedelic Healing Visons" next Tuesday, May 27 at The Silent Movie Theater in Hollywood!
Oh, did you see that video? I was hoping that when we made a record like Imagine Our Love that someday, something like this would come along! Thanks so much to the The Marlton Middle School Chorus, and their director Ms. Morganelli!
In Honor Of Joey Ramone's 57th Birthday :
Hey, if we can be a day late acknowledging Mark Ohe's birthday, two days late for Joey's will just have to do.
Mission Of Burma Won't Forget The Motor City
In addition to upcoming dates in Boston, New York, DC and Philly, Mission Of Burma have just added a July 18 show at Detroit's Bohemian National Home. 'Signals, Calls & Marches' will be performed from start to finish, though I suspect the set list will be a bit longer than that. Probably much longer.
Tickets are available here.